Hey y’all! Its officially November so I can post about getting ready for Christmas! (Yay!) I have already started making some homemade gifts! The things I’m making take some time to be “ready” which is why I suggest starting now! These few gift ideas are perfect for people in your life who you wouldn’t normally think to buy a “real” gift for..Like neighbors, friends, co-workers, obscure relatives, etc! Have you ever had someone give you a gift and you didn’t get them anything? Having some small homemade gifts on hand is perfect for those situations too! The gift ideas I have here are a little more suitable for women, but men who enjoy coffee or like to cook would love some of them too! The recipes for these things are already on my blog so this is more of a “round-up” post of some great Christmas gift ideas. Hope it sparks some creativity!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that earn me a small commission if you make a purchase through them. I only recommend things I use myself!
Recipe HERE! You can find the recipe in the link, but it is really just as simple as adding some vanilla beans to vodka and letting it sit! There is some cutting involved so check out my post to see how to cut your vanilla beans to make your vanilla more flavorful! Vanilla beans need to steep for awhile to develop a good flavor so I would recommend starting this gift a few months before Christmas, like now! You can use your vanilla as soon as the vodka starts to turn brown but it will be very weak until it becomes more of a deep brownish black color. The great thing about this gift is that the recipient can just keep adding more vodka as they use the vanilla and the few beans in the bottle will keep on giving for quite awhile before they’re no good.
Find vanilla beans on Amazon here, and bonus! I found these ADORABLE little bottles that actually come with seals so your homemade extract can look legit!! You simply put the cover over the top of the bottle, and use steam (or a hair dryer) to shrink the seal to fit over the top! This will keep it fresher longer but mostly it just looks really cool! I don’t have a hair dryer so I held mine over a pot of boiling water and it sealed right up. I love it so much!
Homemade Cinnamon Extract
Recipe HERE! This is a very similar process to the vanilla extract but uses cinnamon sticks! So easy! It literally takes almost zero effort to make these but they look so impressive! Cinnamon extract steeps much faster than vanilla extract so you wouldn’t need to start this one so early, but it doesn’t hurt. I find it easier to make them all at the same time. Cinnamon extract is perfect for seasonal beverages! Using powdered cinnamon for coffee, eggnog, tea, apple cider, etc. makes the drink gritty. Drinking cinnamon particles is unpleasant so using cinnamon extract in drinks is perfect! Use the same bottles as for the vanilla extract!
Learn the basics of soap making in my soap making for beginners post! Its not as difficult as you would think to make soap from scratch! (You can even make it in a crockpot!) If you have young kids around or aren’t into handling caustic materials, you can also purchase pour and mold soaps and put your own add-ins or fragrances in to create soap safely and even involve your kids! If you’re brave enough to make it from scratch, my bentonite pine soap is perfect for the holidays, or even coffee soap! For Christmas gifts this year I made cold process cinnamon soap by just using a plain white soap recipe and adding some cinnamon. I swirled it a bit and it smells really great! I’ll post that recipe soon so stay tuned!
BONUS, Wool Dryer Balls- Recipe HERE! Dryer balls are a great gift for those who are health conscious like me! They take the place of dryer sheets and help your laundry dry faster. I planned on making some of these for gifts this year but haven’t gotten around to it so I haven’t decided if I will or not, but its still a great idea! Dryer balls can be expensive when purchased but making your own is very easy and affordable!